Wild Young Minds: January 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quote from my hero

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
                                                                                                                                           - Jack Kerouac

Sunday, January 27, 2013

'When you're strange': a documentary about The Doors

Johnny Depp narrating the story of The Doors and Jim Morrison in particular. That is perfection.
Enfant terrible Jim Morrison lived an outrageous life. He used all sorts of drugs, misbehaved enormously on stage and had sex with many of his groupies. But Jim Morrison was also a legendary singer and poet, with a whole new sound - an inspiration of many artist to come.

'When you're strange', a 2009 documentary written by Tom DiCillo, tells the story of The Doors - from the early beginning, four unexperienced guys playing music in the garage, to their peak in the late sixties. This is accompanied by many interesting fragments of concerts, studio recordings and fragments of a bearded Jim Morrison on the road. I never lost interest while watching this documentary and that means a lot for a documentary.

As mentioned before, the members of The Doors (Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby krieger) formed the group in 1965 though having little experience. They met in cinema school and, especially Jim Morrison, lived a bohemian life. Sitting on roof tops in California, using lsd, reading a lot of beatnik books and writing poetry.

The first album of The Doors was mostly influenced by blues. It included songs as ´Love her madly´, ´Light My Fire´, ´People are Strange´ and ´Touch me´. Their best songs, if you ask me. The group  became the supporting program of Van Morrison among others. It soon became clear that Jim Morrison - who comes off rather easy-going at first sight in my opinion - did things exactly the way he wanted to do them. When The Doors were invited at the Ed Sullivan show, they agreed on singing an adapted version of ´Light My Fire´, but when they were performing, Jim Morrison sang their original version anyway.

´´I´m interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that appears to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom´´, Jim Morrison once said. And this was exactly how he behaved during a lot of their concerts. He went totally crazy, even showed his dick to the audience one time. This led to an arrest and a breakdown for Jim Morrison and the band - since a lot of cities declined to welcome their during their tour.

Jim Morrison´s personal life was disorderous as well. He had a long relationship with Pam Courson, but cheated on her on regular basis (though they had some sort of open relationship, complicated story yes), with Nico and Janis Joplin among others. He hardly had any contact with his family, for his father disapproved of his career, telling him in a letter, to: ´´give up any idea of singing or any connection with a music group because of what I consider to be a complete lack of talent in this direction´´.

 After a few depressions Jim Morrison said he was going to leave the band and move to Paris with Pam. He did. The band was nothing without Jim Morrison anymore. He made them one of the most inspiring groups for the protest generation. But Jim Morrison chose to go to Paris. At first,  life was good for him here, but on a particular day in 1971, Jim was found dead in a bathtub. It´s still not sure how he died exactly - most probably it was a heroin overdose.

Jim Morrison joined the 27 club, which already had members as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. It always fascinates me, how such talented and mad (right?) persons aren´t given a long existence. Of course, it´s their own fault, but it´s such a shame for the world that there´s so little work made. Jim Morrison could have - and would have - made so much more amazing songs (credits to the other members of the Doors too of course) and poems. But let´s cherish what there is - and that´s emphasized in the documentary very good. So I´d say: have a look.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Barcelona is always a good idea

Yesterday decided, today booked: a trip to Barcelona.

A few days filled with shopping, strolling around Las Ramblas, eating tapas, drinking sangria and going wherever we want to go. Spontaneous trips are the best trips, right? :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

''Elegance is the only beauty that never fades''

One of the most eccentric actresses Hollywood has known. One of the most iconic women fashion world has ever known. And one of my biggest inspirations. Audrey Hepburn. Today it's been 20 years since she died.

Unlike many of my heroes, Audrey Hepburn hasn't died at a very young age. Though she wasn't very old either: 63 years. And unlike many of my heroes, she was pretty close to perfect as well. What I mean, is that she was always very positive, caring and wanted the best for everyone: her co-workers, her lovers and the world. We all know the photos of Audrey carrying children, while she's working for Unicef. Many of my other inspirations (Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Kate Moss) are quite the opposite. Definitely not horrible people, but rather pessimistic and making the most of life - in a different way than Audrey, who did the same I think - by drinking, using drugs and living the fast life.

Anyway, before my story totally loses it way, Audrey Hepburn was an inspiring woman. The way she handeled everything, the fact that she had her own and unique way of acting. No one could be as charming and quirky at the same time as her. She made Holly Golightly a legend. She made Tiffany's world famous. And she made Givenchy one of the most elegant fashion houses ever.

The thing I like about all of this, is that she had no intention to do so. She was just living and taking her passions seriously, without setting her goals on fame and money. Despite the fact that her youth wasn't easy. She was young in the war, lived in several countries, including The Netherlands, Belgium, Britain and eventually America and she suffered from malnutrition and oedema. Her parents were Dutch aristocrats from origin, Audrey was born in Belgium, but she had British citizenship through her father. Because of her multinational background, she spoke fluent Dutch, English, Spanish, Italian and French at a young age.

After the ending of the war, the family moved to Amsterdam, where Audrey took ballet lessons and eventually got a part in an educational travel film as a Dutch stewardess. This was the beginning of a big career. Movies as 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', 'Roman Holiday', 'Sabrina' and 'Funny Face' would follow.
'Roman Holiday' would provide her a Academy Award for Best Actress and 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' would provide her world fame. Holly Golightly was the 'most jazziest character' she ever played and a real challenge, taking into consideration that Audrey was introvert and Holly Golightly definitely extrovert.

She kept acting until her death, combined with humanitarian work for Unicef. On January 20th, Audrey died of appendiceal cance. After her death, Gregory Peck (with whom she played in 'Roman Holiday') went on camera and tearfully recited her favourite poem, "Unending Love''. Her grave is in Switzerland, at the Tolochenaz Cemetery. Definitely on my 'to go list', since Audrey Hepburn was such a powerful woman. She made amazing films, she was pure and she wasn't too heavy-hearted. ''Nothing is impossible. Even the world itself says I'm possible''. Might sound a bit cheesy, but it's true. Something we should keep in mind every day, while living our lives lightly and the way we want to live it ;)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pop Art in Europe

I'm a big fan of art from the Fifties and Sixties, especially pop art. It is colourful and, most of the time, a feast for the eye, a relieve when you think about all those dark, serious paintings from the Middle Ages and later on. Though pop art can seem superficial, since it is mostly about the consumer society (think about the many food packages that have been painted, soup, coke bottles, etc.), this form of art was actually very critical. It dealt with politics, women emancipation, human rights, etc.

Many of you (including me) will think about Andy Warhol when hearing the word 'pop art'. But pop art wasn't only existing in America, it played an important part in Europe as well. Last week I visited the exhibition 'Pop Art in Europe' in Museum Valkhof in Nijmegen (a city in the east of the Netherlands) with my father.

It was a very elaborate exhibition, with clear themes that divided the many works. There was 'pleasure, welfare and leisure time', 'space travel', 'politics', 'icons', 'assemblies', 'the mirror of life' and 'anonymous reality'. Surprisingly, the theme 'icons' appealed to me most. It weren't just photos of Marilyn Monroe (though she was on many paintings) but the artists had made paintings based on a poem for example, and assemblies of Elvis Presley, Brigitte Bardot, etc. hidden between other forms. A remarkable theme was 'anonymous reality'. It included a lot of used stuff, garbage and this was typical for European pop art.
We also saw a short documentary that included interviews with many of the famous Pop Art artists from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, etc. To name a few: David Hockney, Allen Jones, Woody van Amen and Gerhard Richter.

All in all, it was an interesting and elaborate exhibition, that showed many weird, but also many intriguing works. It's a shame pop art is known nowadays to be so typical American, when Europe has delivered some wonderful pieces as well. Unfortunately, the exhibition has already ended, so I can't advice you to go there, but you definitely should remember the names I mentioned: their paintings are worth to have a look at. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

High Society

Put four extremely famous actors/musicians in one film and you've got yourself a classic. That's exactly what the producers of musical comedy 'High Society' must've thought when making up their minds about this film in 1956. They chose for the graceful (no name would fit her better) Grace Kelly, powerful voiced Frank Sinatra, adorable Bing Crosby and hilarious Louis Armstrong. The four of them, plus a few other great actors, make an enchanting team who can make this average story a festivity to watch.

'High Society' is about wealthy socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly), who is about to marry George Kittredge, a loyal guy who worked his way to the top. She still lives with her mother and perky little sister, and next to her lives her ex-husband Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby). On the day before the wedding, Dexter decides to throw a music festival (with Louis Armstrong as the charming leader of the band) just to annoy Tracy. But he actually is still in love with Tracy.

This isn't the only thing threatening their wedding. Tracy's father, the mightly Mr. Lord has cheated her mother some time before, and the gossip magazine 'Spy Information' is desperate to gather information about Mr. Lord. That's why, by means of clever blackmail, Tracy has to agree to welcome two reports of the magazine in her house the days before and during the wedding. These reporters, journalist Mike (Frank Sinatra) and photographer Liz Imbrie (Celeste Holm) are pulled along the world of High Society, the rich but damned and a game of cheating. Eventually, every guy falls for the cold but beautiful Tracy (that is: journalist Mike, ex-husband Dexter and husband-to-be George) and a dramatic confluence follows.

 'High Society' is a sort of musical (like you can call the movie Grease a musical) and has a few contagious songs, like 'Who wants to be a millionaire?' and 'Now You Has Jazz'. Another striking thing is that the characters drink extremely much in the story. Perhaps inspired by Frank Sinatra's quote: ''I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day''. In the film the main characters become very, very drunk the evening before the wedding, but the next morning they happily start drinking again.


The thing that striked me most in 'High Society' was Grace Kelly's way of acting. It is exactly like Audrey Hepburn's! I had never seen Grace Kelly before in a movie, but she has the same energetic, almost childish, but elegant way of acting. I had to get used to it in the beginning, because I constantly had the feeling Grace Kelly was imitating Audrey Hepburn. But this film was produced in 1956, a few years before Audrey Hepburn became really famous.

All in all, 'High Society' isn't a very qualitive movie, since the story is poor and sometimes it's all a bit too musical-like if you ask me, but it's definitely an agreeable way to spend your friday evening. Not just because of the actors, but also because of the beautiful colours they used back then in movies and all the drama that happens in High Society.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My past don't dictate who I am. I choose.

Finally! What I was talking about last month (mysterious me, I know) came true today. I had my first tattoo. At the House of Tattoos (definitely a recommendation), Haarlemmerdijk 130c in Amsterdam ;)
It wasn't painfull at all, a strange feeling of course, but I felt very relaxt actually.
Also because Mauritz, the tattoo artist, was very nice and acted as if it wasn't such a big deal, just really really amazing, which made it a lot easier!
Strange idea it'll be on my back for the rest of my life, but it feels good, so hopefully it'll stay this way!